The Defamation lawsuit against Tesla CEO Elon Musk begins today in Los Angeles. The case is based on Musk’s social media posts calling British cave rescuer Vern Unsworth, who was instrumental in the rescue of a trapped Thai youth soccer team, a ‘Pedo Guy.’
Yahoo News reports that Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is set to go to trial on Tuesday after he accused British cave rescuer Vernon Unsworth of being a pedophile. Unsworth played a major role in the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand in July 2018, during the incident Unsworth criticized Musk’s plan to use a miniature submarine to save the boys labeling it a publicity stunt. In response, Musk called him a “pedo guy” on Twitter.
Now, Unsworth claims that Musk should pay punitive and other damages for harming his reputation. The trial will be before U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson in Los Angeles and is scheduled to take place over five days. Musk is expected to testify in his own defense.
Musk boasts 29.8 million Twitter followers and his account has become a major source of publicity for his companies including Tesla, which prides itself on not spending money excessively on marketing campaigns. Now Musk’s Twitter habits have once again landed him in hot water, after a tweet in 2018 about taking Tesla private cost him and the company millions in SEC fines. . .
In the defamation case, Unsworth must prove that Musk did not use reasonable care to determine if the claims made in his tweets were true and that members of the public understood them to mean that he was accusing Unsworth of being a pedophile. It was ruled last month that Unsworth’s sudden fame due to the rescue did not make him a “public figure” which meant that he did not need to demonstrate the higher standard of proof that Musk acted with “actual malice” when posting the tweets. (Read more from “Elon Musk ‘Pedo Guy’ Defamation Trial Begins” HERE)